Olusegun Aganga, Trade and In vestment Minister
By Abimbola Akosile
Experts have declared that minimising unemployment and poverty is a major solution to the country’s worsening security challenge and its attendant negative impact on socio-economic development is to.
Other solutions, they added, include good governance, professionalism, responsible unionism and other initiatives. Besides, the stakeholders also stressed that professionals in different sectors of the economy must be alive to their responsibilities.
The experts spoke at a one-day Human Resource forum held recently in Lagos, organised by HR Derivatives limited, publishers of HR Guide, a comprehensive HR magazine in Nigeria.
They included the vice-chairman, Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Mr. Issa Aremu; Chairman, Transworld Securities Limited, Dr. Ona Ekhomu; Chairman, National Employers Consultative Association (NECA) committee of human resource experts, Mallam Mahmud Othman; the President, South-south Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Mr. Billy-Harry, and the group Managing Director, Kewalram Chanrai Group, Mr. Victor Eburajolo.
Others were the group director, HR/Administration, Industrial and General Insurance (IGI), Mr. Funsho Korode; immediate past chairman, Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG), Mazi Sam Ohuabunwa; NECA President, Oshinowo; Senior Regional Security Director, General Electric, Mr. Dennis Amachree, HR Director, 7Up Plc, Mr. Femi Mokikan; and HR consultant, Mr. Ola Azeez, among others.
In a keynote address at the forum with the theme: “Insecurity, workplace productivity and vision 2020”, Aremu expressed regret at what he described as “state of serious insecurity” in the country.
To him, the underlying causes are unemployment, poverty and general discontent, which all boil down to poor leadership. In his words: “It is a cause for real concern and a matter of regret that serial bombing is now the order of the day in the country. To me, economic and social insecurity is fuelling physical insecurity. The millions who are unemployed, the poor who are in the majority and the disgruntled are readily available to create physical insecurity. Call them any name, they consider themselves engaged.
“In recent years, despite democracy, we are not doing well on several fronts. We have so many unexplained assassinations, many of them high profile, including that of late chief Bola Ige, a former minister. Recently, a war hero - a general for that matter - was killed in broad daylight in the view of a joint task force, and life continues as if nothing serious has happened. If those paid to protect us are so vulnerable, then you and I are therefore easily at risk”.
He added: “Before, our focus was poor power supply. Now, we have added insecurity. We should not deceive ourselves therefore to say that vision 20-2020 is simply a vision that will remain a vision even in 2020 if the current situation persists. I mean, we cannot be part of that club of the great 20 if the prevailing insecurity continues”.
The NLC chief continued: “It will be academic to debate on the problem, whether it is leadership failure or collective guilt. But, the reality of weak and incapable governance cannot be denied. Zero-tolerance for security is the way out. We need god governance! We cannot run a country on good luck”.
Supporting Aremu on the imperative of zero-tolerance for insecurity, Ekhomu reviewed the nation’s security lapses, thrilling the audience with the solutions he proffered to national, corporate and personal insecurity.
Othman wondered why despite government’s several promises of “not leaving any stone unturned at addressing the country’s insecurity, no stone has really been turned. Apparently, the stones are too heavy for those trying them to turn them”.
Harry urged government to involve experts and strategists in addressing the country’s socio-economic problems, while Korode advised Nigerians to embrace insurance, which he described as the most ingenious response to risk and insecurity.
Amachree gave several security tips, including love and security consciousness in the family. “Many parents are so disconnected from their children, just as many do not know their domestic staff very well, especially their drivers”.